Monday, July 12, 2010

baby raccoon

Yesterday, we found a baby raccoon nesting under our porch. He'd come out and was burrowing in the grass by the side of our stairs and was so cute and peaceful looking... And then it started to seize and make terrible wheezing noises, puffing itself up all over, and then collapsing back into a peaceful, sleepy state. It was the saddest thing to watch. We had to call animal control to come pick it up and take it to be put down. It turns out there is an epidemic of distempter in the raccoon population right now and it wreaks havoc on the neurological system and there isn't much they can do, but put them out of their misery. The mama raccoon came back last night to find her nest empty and the space cleaned out. I don't know if she'll stick around or not, or whether she's healthy or not, but I can't stop thinking about both of them.

words and deeds

It occurs to me that I do not always place my trust in those who are deserving of it. I expect people to act in accordance with their better natures, with what they profess is important to them, with honesty and integrity in all dealings. But the reality is that most people, certainly not out of any maliciousness, rather in their fumbling attempts to be happy, are utterly self absorbed and act with little to no regard for anyone other than themselves.

I ask myself why, for instance, do I place my trust in someone who chooses to be dishonest in his closest dealings with others? I don't mean outright lies, but lies of omission, which is, to me, as dishonest. And is it too much to think that the people I am closest to, who say they love me, might consider, for a second, what it means to, say, pursue a course of action within a very small pool, that will leave me having to swim in their mess after they are long gone, and, perhaps choose to do otherwise? That all sounds very abstract, but I live and work within a very small community and it would be nice to think my long term lover and friend might choose not to make things more difficult for me, personally and professionally, especially when he'll be leaving the state soon.

I have to remind myself of the kinds of relationships I value, that I want to cultivate in my life, and remind myself to not be so attached to one that fails in such important ways. I say this without judgment, despite how it may appear. I would not invest such time and energy in one that I didn't feel was worth all of it, but I sometimes lose the essential perspective that reminds me just how fickle and unreliable most everyone is. People are not what they say, but what they do, and while everyone makes mistakes, or takes some course of action that causes another some grief or difficulty on occasion, again, not with any thought of malice, it is important to consider the pattern of action that presents itself and not become too attached to those whose words and lofty aspirations fly so high above and apart from the more consistent baseline of their deeds.

Most importantly, I have to remind myself that I keep choosing these situations and I am the only one who can change that. I wonder, when I am quick to love and prone to accepting others as they are, whether perhaps it wouldn't have been a good idea to keep all my defensive walls in place instead of systematically tearing them all down. There is no point in having the world's most open heart if there is no solid foundation upon which to rest it. I have a lot of work to do.